Environmental Protection Agency loses funding

J.D. Irving Smoke Stack

Tony Webster

J.D. Irving Smoke Stack

Ellie Fowks, Staff Reporter

Over the past 50 years, many things have changed with the environment of the Earth, some for the better and others for the worse.

With the fear of how our Earth would look in years to come if the amount of pollution people were contributing continued, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed. Since its introduction in 1970, they have done a number of things to keep our habitat in good condition.

For example, they were able to find ways to decrease the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide released into the atmosphere, which in turn reduced the pollution of water/acid rain, and they later started the Clean Water Act.

Since the Clean Water Act was able to stop many pollutants from entering fresh water as well as ocean water, people are able to swim and fish in over two-thirds of water in the United States, soil loss to agricultural runoff has been cut down by a billion tons annually and phosphorus and nitrate levels are lower.

Also, the EPA were the ones to determine which chemicals that are used in everyday life were harmful, such as lead in gasoline and classifying secondhand smoke as a cause of cancer.

The EPA has improved the quality of the environment in ways relating to animals as well, like banning chemicals that were harmful to bald eagles and other birds.

Without the help of the EPA, it is clear that our quality of life would be much worse because our Earth would be dying. However, things still are not perfect.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, air pollution can affect humans by causing cancer and harm to a person’s immune, neurological, reproductive, and/or respiratory systems.  

Through the EPA, we have been able to eliminate a lot of problems that could have arisen from a larger amount of pollution, but this project is an ongoing process. Most likely, we will never be able to just stop worrying about what we are doing to our environment.

This is why when President Donald Trump said during his campaign that he planned to abolish the EPA or “leave a little bit” of it, many people were very concerned.

On March 16, President Trump began his process of eliminating the EPA by cutting their budget by 31 percent and plans to continue to go much further than that in the future.

President Trump does not see environmental problems as an issue and that is why he has so easily stopped funding the groups that do.

However, even though the effects of pollution may not be affecting the average American’s everyday currently, it is harming others in the United States and many more around the globe.

High levels of air pollution can be linked to causing heart problems, asthma, respiratory inflammation, cancer and other health risks.

Many people may not see how this problem will affect them personally, it but could cause serious damage in future.

In 2050, according to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, it is predicted that there will be 3.6 million premature deaths caused by air pollution. Also, about 40 percent of the population will be under extreme stress to find clean water.

If the EPA is diminished, they will be unable to prevent these events from happening, and life as we know it could be in serious trouble.

If President Trump does not change his mind, there is nothing more that we can do other than do our best to keep the Earth clean through solutions such as carpooling, recycling and making sure not to litter.

What happens to the environment in 30 years may not be entirely up to the individual, but we can sure make a difference as a whole.

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